Scripture and Reason: A Dual Allegiance

  • Jonathan Sutton
Part of the Library of Philosophy and Religion book series (LPR)


From the exposition and examination of Vladimir Solovyov’s religious philosophy in the previous three chapters it will be apparent that he sought to lead his readers towards a very profound reappraisal of Christian values. Although he maintained that the Church guides us in these matters, and that it provides safeguards against misunderstanding and false belief, he also saw the need for independent enquiry on the part of individual philosophers.1 Solovyov explicitly criticised ‘blind faith’ and the wholly unquestioning acceptance of what we receive through tradition:

Faith, when it is only fact accepted through tradition, is an extremely insubstantial and unsteady thing.… Exclusively factual, blind faith does not conform with the dignity of man.2


Moral Philosophy Moral Nature Religious Thought Human Feeling Logical Proof 
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  1. 7.
    This collective aspect of salvation, as well as the true freedom and worth of the constituent members of human society, are stressed in Solovyov’s doctoral thesis A Critique of Abstract Principles, (Kritika otvlechënnykh nachal, 1877–80), Works, vol. II, see pp. 176–7 passim, and in the conclusion of Justification of the Good, Works, vol. VIII, p. 514.Google Scholar
  2. 13.
    Ernest Radlov, ‘Vladimir Solovyov’s Teaching on the Freedom of Will’ (Uchenie Vladimira Solovyova o svobode voli),Zhurnal Ministerstva Narodnogo Prosveshcheniya, Feb. 1911.Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    See Ananda Coomaraswamy, Selected Papers, (Princeton University Press, 1977, vol. II, pp. 370–1): ‘…Google Scholar
  4. 18.
    See also Christopher Butler, ‘Soloviev’, in Downside Review, 1932, p. 53 (on Solovyov’s understanding of shame),Google Scholar
  5. and Joseph Schneuwly, Das Schamgefühl in Wladimir Solovieffs “Rechtfertigung des Guten”, a doctoral thesis for the University of Freiburg, (Switzerland; Freiburg, 1954).Google Scholar
  6. 32.
    Thomas Masaryk, Spirit of Russia, (London, 1955 edition) Vol. II, ch. 17;Google Scholar
  7. Lev Shestov, ‘Speculation and Apocalypse’, (Umozrenie i apokalipsis), in Umozrenie i otkrovenie (Paris: YMCA Press, 1964) pp. 25–91.Google Scholar

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© Jonathan Sutton 1988

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  • Jonathan Sutton

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